Austin Powers:International Man of Mystery | Movie Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Austin Powers:International Man of Mystery

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Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

After 30 years of cryogenic preservation, the title hero (a spin-off of James Bond and his clones) and his archenemy, Dr. Evil--both played by writer and coproducer Mike Myers (Wayne's World)--emerge in the present to match wits all over again. What's really fun about this silly but spirited comedy isn't just the ribbing of "swinging London" clothes styles and social attitudes but the use of the compulsive zooms and split-screen mosaics of commercial movies of the 60s (some of the funniest gags derive from camera placements). There's a little bit of fudging when it comes to the romantic interest; sidekick Elizabeth Hurley initially blanches at Austin Powers's advances but succumbs as soon as he treats her to a night on the town in Las Vegas, complete with champagne and Burt Bacharach. But 60s (and 50s) icons such as Robert Wagner and Michael York (playing someone called Basil Exposition) make this exercise in historical relativity even funnier. Jay Roach directed with just the right amount of period tackiness. With Mimi Rogers, Seth Green, and Fabiana Udenio (as Alotta Fagina). Broadway, Esquire, Evanston, Ford City, Golf Glen, Lake, Lincoln Village, Norridge. --Jonathan Rosenbaum

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Uncredited photo of Mike Meyers and Elizabeth Hurley.

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